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The Crisis of the Commons: Three Case Studies in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Chan, Henry
Conference: Politics of the Commons: Articulating Development and Strengthening Local Practices
Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Conf. Date: July 11-14, 2003
Date: 2003
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/176
Sector: Forestry
Social Organization
Region: East Asia
Subject(s): IASC
common pool resources
forest management
conflict--case studies
conflict--comparative analysis
Abstract: "To put an end to the degradation of forests that are vital to their nations' economy, the Governments of Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand have adopted new systems to manage the commons, in which the responses of forest dependent communities have been mixed. In Indonesia, local elites have abused the government's policy of granting small-scale logging concessions to local communities. In Malaysia, the response of local communities towards a Sustainable Forest Management project involving joint-management of multi-stakeholders is varied. In Thailand, to preempt eviction from areas classified as watershed forests, a group of local communities reformed their forest and land use systems to fit in with the objectives of national watershed policy. "This paper is an attempt to address the people's responses based on the perspective of moral conflict, that sees disputes over the commons as a competition of different economic and social systems of resource utilization. The moral conflict model provides the tool to assess whether a conflict has the potential to be resolved, or is inherently intractable due to its structure that may have no mutually acceptable resolution."

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